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This article is about the episode. For the inter-dimensional doorway, see Gate.


"Chapter Nine: The Gate" is the seventeenth episode of Stranger Things and the ninth and final episode of the second season. It premiered on October 27, 2017. 

Synopsis

Eleven makes plans to finish what she started while the survivors turn up the heat on the monstrous force that's holding Will hostage.

Plot

As the demodogs surround the house, Eleven surprisingly arrives and stops them. Eleven and Mike become emotional to finally see each other again and reunite with a heartfelt embrace, with both of them stating how they missed each other. After an emotional reunion, Mike figures out that Hopper had been hiding Eleven the whole time and he angrily blames him. However, they quickly reconcile and start forming a plan.
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Eleven finally reunites with Mike after almost a year.

While Eleven reunites with her friends, she reveals to Joyce that she knows about Will's sufferings and that, the only way to defeat the Mind Flayer is to close the Gate. As Eleven assures Hopper that she can close the Gate, Mike points out that it may kill the whole Mind Flayer's army, Will included. Joyce, Jonathan, and Nancy plan to force the Mind Flayer out of Will by exposing him to extreme heat. While they do that, Eleven and Hopper plan to head to Hawkins National Laboratory to close the Gate. Before going, Eleven promises Mike that he will not lose her again.

While Hopper and Eleven were en route to the lab, Eleven reveals that she visited her mother but admits that she shouldn't have left. Hopper, regretting for lying about her mother, apologizes to Eleven, telling her that it's all his fault and that he is sorry for everything he forced on her, as he thought he would lose Eleven just like he'd lost his daughter. They both hold their hands and forgive each other.

Dustin, Lucas, Mike, and Max are left at the Byers house under Steve's supervision. As Mike is concerned about Eleven and warns them that the Lab is swarming with too many Demodogs, the kids all agree to create a distraction by burning the tunnels and drawing the Demodogs away from the Gate, giving Eleven and Hopper enough time to close the gate. But Steve rebuffs it and refuses.

Billy arrives at the Byers house looking for Max and briefly fights with Steve. Eventually, Billy in turn, is sedated by Max. The kids take
Hive Mind

The kids enter the Hive Mind.

Billy's car and head for the tunnels with an unconscious Steve. Even though Steve protests, the kids enter the tunnels and Dustin manages to convince Steve to help them. Reaching the tunnels, they head in and soak the place in gasoline and then start burning it, causing the demodogs to come after them, but leaving the Gate clear for Hopper and Eleven, also affecting Will as well. On the way out, they encounter Dart; Dustin calms him long enough for them all to pass by unharmed.
Dr. Owens injured

Hopper finds Dr. Owens badly injured

Meanwhile, Hopper and Eleven reach the labs, finding everyone massacred by the Demodogs, and encounter Dr. Owens who is severely injured. As Hopper patches him up, Hopper reveals that he has been protecting Eleven for about a year and convinces Dr. Owens to help her lead a normal life after everything she's doing to save everybody's lives, instead of being treated like an experiment.

Joyce, Jonathan and Nancy expose Will to extreme heat at the Hopper cabin, who under the Mind Flayer's control, unconsciously starts choking his mother, before Nancy burns his hand with a fire poker.

Eleven and Hopper on Hawkins Lab surprised to see Demodogs fleeing Episode Gate

Hopper and Eleven prepare to enter the Gate

Reaching the basement of the Lab, Hopper and Eleven witness the lights flickering and hear the sound of Demodogs. Hopper requests her to stay back and as he prepares to attack the swarming demodogs, he and Eleven are surprised to see them flee away. The Mind Flayer is successfully expelled from Will and so, hearing the news, Hopper and Eleven reach the gate.

Eleven is surprised to see the Mind Flayer's Gate being grown so large and holds Hopper's hands in fear. As Hopper assures her, Eleven becomes confident in her strength.

When Eleven
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Eleven channels her strength to close the Mind Flayer's gate.

starts using her powers to close the Gate, the Mind Flayer senses her strength and sends all the Demogorgons to attack her. Hopper defends Eleven from the swarming Demodogs as she closes the Gate, remembering all the trauma she went through to empower herself to seal the Gate.

Despite the Mind Flayer's attempts, Eleven successfully channels her strength and closes the portal she opened, ending the threat of the Upside Down once and for all, as well as killing all the remaining Demogorgons in the process.

A month later, Murray Bauman watches as Hawkins lab is shut down in the wake of the revelations. Barb is given a proper funeral. Hopper meets with Dr. Owens who gives him a forged birth certificate for Eleven, which says she is officially Hopper's daughter now, though he reminds Hopper to wait a while to be safe. Hopper eventually convinces Dr. Owens to give Eleven a night out.
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As the kids enjoy the Snow Ball dance, Mike and El reunite again.

At night, Hopper meets Joyce outside the school and calms her who is still devastated by Bob's death.

At the school, all the kids, including Eleven, attend the annual Snow Ball. Max
Mind Flayer hovering the Hawkins Middle School

The Mind Flayer survives the assault of the Gate & looms over the school

and Lucas dance and so does Will with another girl, and Nancy feeling pity for Dustin, dances with him. Mike and Eleven reunite again, keeping their promises, and they dance, sharing a kiss.

While the kids enjoy the school dance, in the Upside Down, the Mind Flayer is still alive, surviving the assault of the Gate by Eleven and Hopper, and is looming over the school.

Cast

Music

Soundtrack

  • "The Way We Were" by Barbra Streisand.
  • "I Do Believe (I Fell in Love)" by Donna Summer.
  • "I See Charcoal (You See Scarlet)" by Cameron Brooks.
  • "Rare Bird" by Tangerine Dream- When the military locks up and closes Hawkins Lab.
  • "Jingle Bell Rock" by Bobby Helms- Everyone getting ready for the Snow Ball.
  • "Love is a Battlefield" by Pat Benatar- Steve dropping Dustin at the Snow Ball.
  • "Twist of Fate" by Olivia Newton-John- Steve stares at Nancy in the school hall as he prepares to drive off.

  • "Time After Time" by Cyndi Lauper- Hopper comforts Joyce's grief by sharing cigarette.
  • "Every Breath You Take" by The Police- When Eleven makes it to the Snow Ball and Mike dances with her.

Original Score

  • "Levitation"- When Eleven channels her strength to close the Mind Flayer's Gate.
  • "What Else Did You See?"- Joyce asking El what saw in her visions when checking Will.
  • "Symptoms" -The group plans to save Will by forcing the Mind Flayer out.
  • "Never Tell" -When Hopper finds Dr. Owens severely injured and suggests him to help Eleven to lead a normal life after everything she's done for everybody's safety.
  • "The Hub" -When the kids reach the Hive Mind and begin soaking the tunnel in petrol.
  • "Crib" -Will is saved and is given a hug by his mother and brother.

Behind the Scenes

One of the things the Duffers wanted for the season finale was to pull off the story lines climax of all the subplots simultaneously, a challenge they couldn't perfectly overcome the previous season. The hardest part for them was to build the story lines at almost the same pace. "That’s the final challenge: getting them to crescendo at the same time and making it clear how one story line is affecting another story line," Ross stated. In the end, they managed to pull it off with a three-part climax and ending it on a happier note with the Snowball.[1]

As told by Matt, the reunion of Mike and Eleven at the beginning was Finn and Millie's first scene together this season and the duo did a great job to make the scene feel powerful. For Mike and Hopper's confrontation, the Duffers wanted their performances to be akin to an argument scene of Almost Famous, and Matt liked the end result saying that, "Finn was really hitting him as hard as he could."[1]

The sequence with Hopper, Eleven and the demodogs at the lab; the kids at the tunnels and Will at the cabin were all interconnected with each other and had to be mostly rendered by visual effects. So there was almost nothing there when the Duffers began editing. The 30-45 seconds sequence took them atleast 20 hours to edit.[1]

The showdown featuring Eleven and Hopper fighting the Mind Flayer was the only scene in the show which didn't have anything practical. Visual-effects producers Paul & Graff explained that the sequence took them a day and a half because the entire environment had to be modeled out and they had to storyboard the scenes frame by frame.[2] It was also very difficult for Millie and David with Matt explaining, "We were lifting Millie in the air, David’s firing a shotgun that’s loud, the cage is shaking back and forth, and Millie thought she was about to throw up". Nevertheless, they were very happy with how the sequence turned out.[1]

Gallery

View Gallery

Click the above image to view the gallery for The Gate.

Notes

  • On August 31, 2016, the second season was announced through a trailer published across social media, listing the titles of the nine episodes. However, because the titles were not in order, it is difficult to determine which one belonged to this episode. The official title of the episode, "The Gate", was revealed on October 27. 
  • Mike takes Eleven to the Snow Ball school dance, which he promised to take her to in the season one finale. 

References

  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "The Duffer Brothers Recap Stranger Things 2 Finale, ‘Chapter 9: The Gate’" Vulture. November 10, 2017.
  2. "Emmy Contender: Stranger Things 3D-printed Demodog heads"SYFY August 23, 2018.